The New Inflatable TF Gear Airflow Bivvy!!

A new product has literally just hit the shelves – the radical new TF Gear Airflow Bivvy. We feel this bivvy will revolutionise the carp fishing bivvy world, and become a best seller as a result.

The new inflatable bivvy from TF Gear!!!

The new inflatable bivvy from TF Gear!!!

What’s it about?

It’s a pump up bivvy that uses inflatable ‘air poles’ instead of conventional polesIt takes about a minute to inflate and even comes supplied with the pump. Other than the ‘pram’ hood peak support no poles are needed whatsoever. This means the bivvy is super lightweight to transport plus extremely easy and quick to erect. It also packs down into a very small bag compared to ‘normal’ bivvies – great if space is limited in your car. Quality T pegs, a nice carry bag and an integrated groundsheet complete a really decent package.

In the video below, Dave Lane demonstrates pumping up the Airflow bivvy:

As soon as they arrived, we simply had to test these bivvies outside the Fishtec shop. Inflation of the bivvy took no time at all – definitely within the minute mark. We found they were rock solid and very stable with no danger of the bivvy bowing inwards in high wind.

The material of this single skin bivvy is very tough and looks highly puncture resistant.The built in premium groundsheet is heavy duty and easy to clean. There are several door configurations, including a mozzie net and a separate clear window that you can velcro into place if needed. To pack down it was simply a case of loosening one valve and rolling it back up – so easy and quick for the end of your session.

There are two sizes available and both are very generous in terms of interior space and specification – size chart below.

TF Gear Airflow Bivvy dimensions

TF Gear Airflow Bivvy dimensions.

How much?

At just £279.99 for the one man, and £329.99 for the two man they represent superb value for money. We feel these are going to be a huge seller for 2017 –  NOW IN STOCK!!!

For full details of the TF Gear Airflow bivvy click here.

Which Strike Indicator?

Love them or loathe them, the use of a strike indicator or bung can make a huge difference to your fly fishing results whether it is on the river or lake.

The question is which one do you use? The answer is not that clear cut – each has it’s own advantages. In this blog we review eight popular fly fishing indicators and examine their pro’s and con’s.

A selection of fly fishing strike indicators

A selection of fly fishing strike indicators.

Fulling Mill Fish Pimps – £3.99 per pack of 6.

Made of hard foam in two sizes, the aerodynamically shaped Fish Pimps by Fulling Mill have been around for donkeys years – the reason why? They are very effective and represent good value.

Fulling Mill fish pimps - Large size

Fulling Mill fish pimps – Large size.

Pro’s – The large size casts well on stillwater; it floats high and is easy to see. This makes them perfect for fishing nymphs and buzzers at a decent range. Can also support fairly heavy river nymphs. The Mini pimp size is ideal for small streams and brooks where delicate presentation is needed and a small single fly used. Re-usable and supplied in a handy tube.

Con’s – Can potentially fly off the leader if not attached correctly (always ensure you twist each opposing end of the rubber tube in the opposite direction). For river angling with ultra heavy bugs they may not be buoyant enough to support real bottom dredgers.

Air-Lock Strike indicators – £7.49 per pack of 3.

Originally from the USA, these indicators were primary used by Steellheaders for presenting the ballast heavy flies needed in strong and deep river flows.

The Airlock indicator

The Airlock indicator.

Pro’s – Best attachment system on market, a rubber grommet and screw thread set-up means you can attach and slide up leader with ease. No chance of them coming off or shifting position. The buoyancy is unrivaled, allowing you support to fish a full team of heavy river bugs, making these perfect for winter grayling. Also ideal for stillwater trout fisheries with teams of buzzers.

Con’s – Not that great for extreme distance casting. Suits short to medium range best. Size and shape means it can splashes fairly heavily so best suited to deeper, more turbulent water if using on the river for trout.

Fulling Mill Strike yarn indicator
– £2.99 per pack of 6.

These indicators are made of pre-treated siliconised yarn (poly yarn), with black, white and orange supplied in the packet to suit all light conditions. Fitted with a rubber O ring, these can be easily attached by pushing a loop of your leader through the O ring, and then back over itself. You can then slide up and down the leader.

Fulling Mill yarn indicators

Fulling Mill yarn indicators.

Pro’s – Buoyant out of packet, the shuttlecock design makes for good casting. These are pretty decent for presentation as they do not land with a big splash. Ideal for fishing buzzer and nymphs on stillwater, as well as river trout flies.

Con’s – After a while, can need fishing floatant application to keep it afloat. Not really one not for supporting heavily weighted flies or heavy river bugs

New Zealand strike indicator – £6.99 Tool with 2 wool colours and sleeve.

This type of indicator is favoured by anglers looking to present in as natural and delicate fashion as possible – perfect for spooky fish. The NZ indicator system is supplied with a needle tool, some tubing and two samples of a naturally buoyant sheep’s wool. Additional colours and more tubing need to be purchased separately.

New Zealand strike indicator

New Zealand strike indicator.

Pro’s – Lands like thistledown, unobtrusive. Perfect for presenting small nymphs in skinny water on the river. Does not impede casting in any way, so distance and turnover are very good. The slimline tubing attachment is much less bulky than an O ring system.

Con’s – Can be fiddly to apply whilst on the water, especially in cold and windy conditions. Needs treatment with floatant. Will not support heavier flies. Extras mount up price and tool easy to loose.

Loon strike out indicator yarn – £3.50 per dispenser.

This yarn is popular in the USA with river anglers. Pull off the required length, and attach to your leader with a small rubber band (not supplied) or simply tie the leader round it.

Loon strike out yarn

Loon strike out yarn.

Pro’s – Good value for the amount of yarn supplied. Delicate presentation. Best fished as part of a river nymph set up.

Con’s – Could do with being easier to attach. Realistically, you wont end up re-using the yarn so can end up throwing a fair amount of it away after use.

Self adhesive foam indicators – £3.95 for a sheet of 30.

This type of bung is one of the first developed. Made of buoyant plasterzote foam, they were incredibly popular a decade or two ago.

Adhesive foam indicators

Adhesive foam indicators.

Pro’s – A firm favourite. Quick and easy to attach, simply fold over and squeeze onto the line. They are also inexpensive. Stick firmly to leader so no danger of them flying off with a vigorous cast. Suited to river fishing or stillwater with smaller patterns at any range.

Con’s – Cannot be re-used or moved up the leader without the indicator loosing stickiness. Not the best for large, heavy flies.

Airflo Float-Do
– £2.99 per tub.

A pliable, moldable brightly coloured floating putty, Float-Do is a little used indicator material but can be very effective. Float-Do is soft in the tub but hardens once in contact with water. Also available as Light-Do – the only strike indicator that glows in the dark!

Airflo Float-Do

Airflo Float-Do.

Pro’s – Highly visible, It can fish any weight of fly – simply add more Float-Do do until your heavy flies are supported or use tiny blobs along the leader for fishing a micro nymph on a French leader in skinny water. Re-usable and simplicity itself to apply.

Con’s – Can fly off the leader on long high energy distance casts. Best for river or marginal stillwater fishery work.

Use a Bung Fly – £1.40 Each

An orange bung fly

An orange bung fly.

Pro’s – Good visibility. Huge benefit of the ability to catch a fish (we have all had times when a stupid fish tries to eat your indicator!! Good for long range casting.

Con’s – Cannot easily slide up and down leader for a quick depth change. Can become water logged. Will not be buoyant enough for super-heavy patterns.

The HD Sports Action Camera on test

Capture the action for a fraction of the price of a GoPro! The new HD sports Action camera is ideal for capturing fishing footage. Available for just £34.99 it really is a bargain.

Perfect for fly, coarse and carp angling this HD action camera can be used to get underwater and action fishing shots.

The HD Action camera is £34.99 - complete with all the extras shown here.

The HD Action camera is £34.99 – complete with all the extras shown here.

The HD action camera is supplied complete with a waterproof housing case, as well as a variety of mounts and accessories. There is also a comprehensive additional accessory pack available for just £19.99 – this includes a head strap and chest harness, ideal add-ons for active fly and lure fishing situations. All mounts and accessories use the same universal system you will find on a GoPro.

The camera has a 120 degree wide angle lens, just like a GoPro. It records video in 1080p, 720p and 480p. 720p and 480p are recorded in 30 frames per second, and 1080p at 25 frames per second. It has a full LCD screen at the back, so you can review your footage right there on the bank. To get the footage, it’s a simple case of plugging it into a computer and dragging the files off it.

To see whether it was any good, we decided to take the camera fishing on a foggy, dull December day on a grayling river in South Wales.

The camera was set to 720p, the best compromise for frame speed, quality and storage room. A 8 GB micro SD card was inserted (not included) – this will give about 40 minutes of footage at 720p. The camera was very intuitive to use – no fiddling about, and easy to turn on/off even with cold, wet hands.

Firstly, after finding a few fish we did some close up under water fish shots, which you can see below. To film these, the camera was simply held in the hand with no attachment used.

As you can see, the footage is decent even in poor light conditions.

Moving on, a large shoal of grayling was located allowing filming of fish captures using a fly rod. The chest harness supplied with the accessories pack was fitted, to give point of view action footage.

This part of the river was surrounded by sunken banks, with a tree canopy overhead. With the sun going down as well it was quite dark and dismal. Despite this the camera picked up some great footage – proving the camera works well in low light conditions.

We will update this review with some more footage from a brighter day soon.

We are sure these cameras will be popular with our customers and become a best seller – after all, they are just £34.99! You can buy the HD action camera and accessories here.

Airflo Forge – Not just another fly-line!

Trout Fisherman magazine review the outstanding new Airflo forge floating fly line!!

”A slick, stable & high floating line” – TF tackle tester Robbie Winram

Robbie says: I was looking forward to trying out the new Forge fly-line as its taper is very similar to my ‘go to’ floating line for stillwater fishing– the Airflo Elite – with a head length of 40 foot and a running line of 50 foot. The main differences are that the Forge is half a line weight heavier to make it easier to load, it is built around a stretchier core of braided multifiliment and the coating is ultra-smooth.

The Airflo Forge fly line in action

The Airflo Forge fly line in action.

As with any line used straight from the box a little memory was present, but after an initial stretch everything was good to go. As I stretched the line I could feel it had a good amount of ‘give’ and it felt supple and smooth through the hands.

The initial lift and load was trouble-free with the line aerialising well, and the resulting forward cast and line shoot delivered the line onto the water with crisp turnover and equally good presentation.

This same performance was produced over short and medium ranges in varying wind conditions. When pushing for more distance, even though the head length is not especially long, it hit the mark with little casting effort. It has great stability in the air, especially when false casting or double-hauling, and the accuracy and delicacy it achieves at these ranges make it perfect for dry fly work and for fishing a team of nymphs, making for a very versatile floating line.

I liked the two colours of the line, which are a tactical olive for the head length and a brighter sunrise yellow for the running line, making it easier to track across the water in difficult light conditions.

The surface coating that Airflo use makes for a very buoyant floating line that not only sits high on the water but allows for easier and cleaner lift-offs. The noticeably softer feel to the line, especially when retrieved over cold wet hands and fingers, was a real bonus. And even though it doesn’t have ridges it is very slick through the rod rings allowing you to cover moving fish quickly and accurately. From experience the polyurethane base material that Airflo use produces a strong, hard-wearing fly-line that outlasts many others.

airflo-forge1

Slick, supple and tangle free.

This line will appeal to anglers of differing skill levels because it’s so easy
to cast and at this price won’t break the bank. As a side note the line has a small, neat welded loop at the front end. To get the best from this, combine it with a polyleader using a loop-to-loop connection. This will give improved presentation, especially when fishing
dries. If welded loops are not your cup of tea, cut this loop off, seal the end and add a small braided loop instead.

“The surface coating makes for a very buoyant line that not only sits high on the water but allows for easier lift-offs.”TF contributor Peter Gathercole

Peter says: It’s an absolutely brilliant line – slick, flats well and lifts off the water smoothly. It has a little stretch, which is preferred by some as they believe it helps with more hook-ups, avoiding the dreaded ‘bounce off’. And it’s forgiving when playing fish. It also casts well and lands beautifully straight on the water. There appears to be a slight increase in rigidity in the running line which aids shootability while reducing tangles – the line drops into open coils while retrieving. But there’s a softness in the head section, which I like. Will it be robust enough long term? I see no reason why it shouldn’t. I enjoyed fishing with it.

Airflo’s sales director Gareth Jones talks about the Forge Fly line

Gareth says: With all the fly-lines available on the market today, it’s often a case of ‘where do I start’ when it comes to deciding on the correct taper, coatings, cores, etc for your floating line?

Add to this the fact that £50-plus is a significant investment in something that you may or may not get right and you can see there could be some hesitation, unless you’ve had a chance to find something you like.

At the other end of the scale, you have your lower priced fly-lines and mill ends, but sometimes these cheaper options can lack in performance and age quickly, making them a line that ends up being replaced often.

The Airflo Forge seeks to address these issues and give you a fly-line you can enjoy at a price level that won’t break the bank.
Taper: With a total head length of 40 feet and a working head length of between
33 to 42 feet, the Forge is an extremely versatile line that will work for all levels of casting ability. A relatively long front taper of eight feet (including tip) allows for smooth turnover and precise deliveries, superb for nymphs, dries and any top of the water presentation.

Colour: The line has a pleasant warm olive head colour that will help reduce line flash in the air. A sunrise yellow running line allows you to easily see the transition at the rear taper and help you gauge the optimal amount of line to aerialise when going for distance.

Coating: The surface on the Forge line is ultra-smooth to the touch and holds a dry lubrication system that not only improves casting performance, but also helps significantly with water repulsion – a key factor in improving flotation. It also helps with smooth lift-offs when covering rising fish.

Core: The core is a braided multifiament, similar to those found in top end PVC fly-lines – if you’re already used to stretchy fly-lines, this will have a similar feel to the lines you may have used previously.

Why the price? At only £29.99, the Forge has pushed the barriers of performance for this price point of fly-line. Being launched globally, this has allowed us to run very large volumes and reduce the cost of manufacture significantly. We’ve also saved by making the line with only two coatings (Super-Dri has three!). Finally, we dropped off the loop at the reel end, so you still have a great factory welded loop at the tip, but can still connect backing with your regular nail knot or similar.

Tech-Spec
Size: WF3-WF8F
Colour: Olive/sunrise yellow
Recovery speed: 1.5 inches per second for high buoyancy

Airflo Forge fly lines are available here.

Reproduced with permission from the November 2016 issue of Trout Fisherman magazine.

Fishtec now offer FREE delivery!!!

We now offer FREE mainland UK delivery, as long as your order is over £50 in value!!! Simply add your fishing tackle to the basket to qualify for free postage.

Fishtec free postage

Fishtec free postage!

Great reasons to order your fishing tackle from Fishtec:

  • Extremely competitive prices and rock bottom clearance sale tackle.
  • Ultra rapid delivery – with next day delivery available.
  • Loyalty rewards – Earn points whenever you spend, share, refer or review. Redeem your points at the checkout and save £££’s.
  • Interest free finance available – on all orders over £350!! Pay for your dream tackle in installments.
  • Free expert advice available from our team of professional anglers.
  • Great online community – visit the Fishtec blog, Fishtec TV, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and more…
  • Subscribe to our email list for exclusive special discounts, free gifts and deals.
  • All the leading fishing tackle brands, with a huge selection for game, coarse, carp, match, predator and sea anglers.

5 Winter Fly Fishing Tackle Storage Tips

For some anglers the season never really ends, but for a lot of us when winter is truly here it’s time to wind things down and store your fly fishing tackle for next year.

If you decide to hang your fishing gear up through the winter you might want to consider how to store your reels, lines, rods, leader material and waders – so they are in pristine condition for spring. Our 5 essential tackle item tips explain how!

Store your fly fishing kit well so it performs next season

Store your fly fishing kit well so it performs next season.

1. Fly reels. The main enemy of a fly reel is dirt and damp. Before storage always clean the grit and grime out of your reel with a toothbrush then allow to dry. A thin application of reel oil with a soft cloth will really help keep your reels in good shape. Never use WD40 as this can strip grease out and ultimately make things worse. Your reels drag system will need to be slackened to the minimum setting or the drag washer could perish in storage.

2. Fly line. A common complaint we receive in spring is a fly line full of memory. It is no coincidence that when a line is stored on a reel all winter and then hits icy cold water memory kicks in – it is not the fault of the line. It pays to strip the line off your spools and store your fly line in big open coils – the linewinder is the ideal product to do this with. At the same time, take the opportunity to clean your line with a moist cloth to remove all the dirt and grime

3. Fly rods. Make sure your fly rod is never stored all winter inside a wet rod bag – doing this can lead to pimples in the varnish, and a mildew riddled cork handle. Dry your rod thoroughly and take the time to remove dirt from the rings with a toothbrush and soapy water before you place in the tube.

4. Leader material. Leader material degrades with time – it is worth clearing out all of your partially used spools of tippet and re-stocking with fresh ones in the spring. As well as a confidence issue, trusting old tippet that has spent a season (or more!) in your vest then a winter in storage might not be worth it when you get broken off by a big overwintered rainbow early in the season.

5. Waders. Dry and clean your waders before storing for the winter. Fully dry waders reduce the chance of mildew growing in them – and that can cause major issues. Drape them gently over a clothing rail for best results. For for more details on looking after your fishing waders, check out our blog post here.

5 Great Wader Repair Tips

Waders are a valuable bit of your fishing tackle arsenal, but like all good things they always come to an end – usually on a barb wire fence or bramble patch.

All is not lost however – should your waders develop a leak (let’s face it they ALL do!) there are some wader repair tips you can use to save them. Our 5 wader repair tips explain how.

Leaking waders ready for a repair!

Leaking waders ready for a repair!

1. The torch

Turn your waders inside out. Get hold of a very bright torch, then find a dark room (darker the better!) Shine the torch inside, close up to the material. Look for pin holes – they usually show up as a small, brighter white spot. Mark them with a pen or chalk as you find them. Repair with a blob of wader glue. This method can work well, especially if you are patient and thorough with your inspection.

Remember after using your wader glue put it in the freezer for next time – this will stop it setting, and all you need do is heat in a cup of warm water before you use again.

2. Fill with water

This ‘old school’ method involves finding a safe spot to hang your waders, and fill with water using the garden hose. Look for drips and damp spots to locate the leaks, mark with chalk as you find them. You can then repair once dry. Be aware water testing can place strain on seams.

3. Air pressure testing

The idea is to inflate your waders as tightly as possible, and them immerse the leaking area in a large tub of water while still under pressure and look for bubbles. You can also ladle wader on the areas you suspect of leaking and look for bubbles as you apply the water. Mark the suspect areas with chalk or pen, allow to dry then apply glue.

To get air into your waders under high pressure, a bouncy castle blower is just perfect. Another way is to find a vacuum cleaner you can set in reverse or use a leaf blower. Air pressure testing is best done as a two man job – get somebody to keep the wader top firmly closed and keep the pressure up while you test.

Some wader repair essentials

Some wader repair essentials.

4. Alcohol spray

This method is very effective on Simms Gore-tex waders. Turn inside out, spray with Block-it wader repair or isopropyl alcohol mix. Gore-tex reacts to the alcohol, and black spots appear. Then, as the alcohol dries daub some wader glue on the dark spots. This test also works for non Gore-tex breathables to some extent. Have the wader inside out, spray the suspect area, then quickly turn the wader back the right way. Dark spots should then be visible on the outer shell of the wader where it seeps through the holes.

We have heard it said WD40 can be spayed on the inside of all kinds of breathable waders, and because it penetrates the fabric pinholes will show up. However WD40 is very greasy, smells, and is hard to remove after the test. But if you don’t mind that, it could work.

An alcohol spray test revealed pin holes in a very awkward place!

An alcohol spray test revealed pin holes in a very awkward place!

5. Professional repair

Lets face it even the best DIY job can still miss leaks, or in the case of seam leaks be very hard to fix. Sometimes it is simply easier and less time consuming to get the waders repaired for you by an expert.

Simms offer a ‘lifetime’ warranty/repair service where you can return your Simms wader for assessment, with wader repairs done for free if considered warranty or charged if not.

We recommend the services of the UK’s leading wader repair specialist, Dave Gordon aka Diver Dave. We can 100% vouch for Diver Dave’s service and effectiveness – this gentleman can work his magic on even the most ancient, leaky pair of waders, and for a very reasonable fee too!  So, if you think your waders are ”written off” – think again, and drop Dave an email.

Remember looking after your waders can help prevent them leaking in the first place! Read our 5 wader care tips here.

New TF Gear Carp Fishing Tackle Videos – with Dave Lane

Earlier this year Dave Lane met up with Marc Coulson, editor of Total Carp Magazine on the banks of the renowned Quarry fishery in Essex. Together the guys shot a full length DVD on targeting big carp, and reviewed a load of TF Gear carp fishing tackle.

In this blog post you can watch 11 awesome carp fishing tackle product videos from the Total Carp Magazine DVD. In these videos Laney and Marc review and explain each and every innovative feature of these products. Trust us, these videos are well worth watching if you are looking for new carp fishing gear!

Watch the YouTube videos in the windows below, or click through to the Fishtec TV YouTube channel.

TF Gear Hardcore Packaway Unhooking Mat – A quality pop-up carp fishing mat that is easy to transport and just the right size for large carp.

TF Gear Hardcore Trail Boots – Waterproof, tough and good looking these Hardcore trail boots are the ideal footwear for a dedicated carp angler.

TF Gear Banshee clothing – Dave Lane talks about the outstanding waterproof and breathable banshee carp fishing clothing by TF Gear.

TF Gear Hardcore Desert Boots – Rugged carp fishing boots from TF Gear. Ideal for trekking through awkward terrain to the water’s edge. Fishing footwear built to last.

TF Gear Flat Out Superking Pillow – A good nights sleep is essential for carp fishing. Here TF Gear have designed a pillow specifically for carp anglers that integrates with your sleeping set up seamlessly.

TF Gear Flat Out Sleeping Bags – A premium carp fishing bag made for comfort and ease of access, this bag is the essential choice of Dave Lane and many other hardcore carp anglers.

TF Gear DL Black Edition Spod Reel – Finally a spodding reel man enough for the job!! Purpose built for spodding, this hardcore spod reel has been built to Dave Lanes demanding specifications.

TF Gear DL Black Edition Speedrunner Reel – The finest carp fishing reel for your money – smooth, powerful, and capable of casting huge distances this baitrunner reel does it all.

TF Gear DL black edition carp rods – The new DL black edition carp fishing rods offer a new benchmark in looks, casting performance and fish playing ability.

TF Gear DL Black edition net – A 42” carp landing net designed by Dave Lane. Quality and performance at a decent price!

TF Gear Chillout sleeping bag – Sleep in comfort with the Chillout sleeping bag! Designed for hardcore carp anglers, this bag is the pinnacle of bivvy comfort.

9 Father’s Day Fishing Gift Ideas!

June the 19th marks father’s day in the UK! Why not treat your angling obsessed dad to a fishing related gift? To make things easier, we have put together 9 of our top father’s day gift suggestions for you – all available on a next day delivery from Fishtec!

1. Head Torch – Every angler needs a head torch! It’s something fishermen are guaranteed to lose on a regualr basis. The TF Gear Night spark is a quality bit of kit – waterproof, with a very bright 100 lumen light and batteries last ages. Price £19.99

The Night spark head torch from TF Gear

The Night spark head torch from TF Gear.

2. Polaroid Sunglasses – Another essential for any type of angler. Whether you are stalking carp, walking the chalk stream looking for trout, or barbel spotting on a big river polaroid glasses cut through the surface glare and allow you to literally see beneath the surface glare. These neat interchangeable glasses from Airflo are actually 3 glasses in one – a different coloured lense is supplied for each light condition. Price £29.99

The Airflo Interchangeable sunglasses - three glasses in one.

The Airflo Interchangeable sunglasses – three glasses in one.

3. Water proof phone case – For some dad’s, getting them onto a ‘smart phone’ took long enough in the first place… why change from a Nokia 3310???  Make sure they don’t ruin their new fangled iPhone in the drink with one of these awesome overboard phone cases. Price £18.99

Overboard phone cases

Water proof overboard phone cases.

4. Online Gift Voucher – Ran out of time or cannot make a decision on a gift? Fishtec online gift vouchers are the ideal gift for father’s day. Easy to buy and use, you can select the amount, the date the recipient will receive their voucher, and even include a Father’s day message. Price – you decide! From £10 up.

Fishtec Gift vouchers

Fishtec Gift vouchers.

5. Ridge Monkey toaster – Dad’s love having a munch whilst waiting for a bite. These nifty toasters are the best thing to hit the bank since sliced bread…. and that goes really well into one of these with a load of cheese and BBQ sauce! Price £16.99 (standard size) £24.99 XL size.

ridge monkey toasters

Ridge monkey toasters.

6. Dr Slick deluxe gift set – A lovely little gift set with two very important things for any fisherman – forceps and a razor sharp set of line nippers. Also supplied with a retractable zinger and a fly box, this is the ideal gift for dads who like to fish for trout and salmon especially. Price £35

Dr Slick deluxe gift set

Dr Slick deluxe gift set.

7. New wellington boots – Wellies are an essential part of any fisherman’s tackle. We bet your dad’s are well past it, and smelly to boot, so why not get him a new pair? These ultra comfortable boots from Hardwear feature flexible neoprene, and are very warm and stylish. Price £34.99 (rrp £49.99)

Hardwear neoprene wellingtons

Hardwear neoprene wellingtons – incredible comfort!

8. Tackle box – For putting your bit’s and pieces in, you simply cannot beat the Lok box from TF Gear! A basic box but very well built and will not break the bank.  Price £14.99

TF Gear Lok-box - a great tackle box that will not break the bank!

TF Gear Lok-box – a great tackle box that will not break the bank!

9. FishSpy underwater camera – This is for the tech-savvy dad that already has it all – fishfinder, electric engine, own boat, garage bulging with gear and is crazy about carp! This bit of kit will enable you to see what you’re missing quite literally; with it’s live and recorded underwater footage. Simply cast it out and transmit to your phone. Price £199.99 (rrp £249.99).

Underwater camera

Image Source: http://www.fishspy.com/
For anglers who love their tech.

 

Wychwood RS – Fly Rod Review

In this tackle test we take a look at the all-new Wychwood RS fly fishing rods – now available from Fishtec!

Recently, whilst walking through the Fishtec tackle warehouse a cool looking rod tube caught my eye… on closer inspection, this brand new addition to our rod storage racking revealed itself to be the Wychwood RS fly rods, that had (at the time of writing) literally just arrived into stock.

I always like to try out any new fly rod that comes into the Fishtec tackle store, so I decided to grab one off the shelf and give it a go there and then! This mini-review is based on my initial impressions of a Wychwood RS fly rod, with a test session on the casting pool outside the Fishtec shop.

The Wychwood RS fly rod range.

The Wychwood RS fly rod range.

The range:

The RS are a totally new range of rods from Wychwood Game Angling and compete in the very crowded ‘mid price’ sector – with prices ranging from £169.99 to £199.99.

Firstly, I took a quick look at the models available in order to pick one out to test. The RS range appears to be geared for the stillwater anglers, with 6 models available, with rods made to cover very small stocked fisheries right through to vast reservoirs – from a lightweight 9′ #5 to a heavyweight 10′ #8 boat weapon, there is a trout rod here for pretty much any UK stillwater situation.

As a regular visitor to large upland stillwaters holding wild trout and grown on rainbows, I am always on the look out for a dedicated 9’6 #6, my favourite configuration for bank fishing on such venues. Conveniently Wychwood have included this fairly rare configuration in their range, so I grabbed hold of an Airflo Super-dri G-shock floater in a 6 weight and headed out to the Fishtec casting pool for a quick cast or three in the sunshine!

First impressions:

The tube is very impressive – and is what basically caught my eye as I walked past it! Seemingly made of carbon fiber, it’s very lightweight and looks strong. It’s certainly a lot nicer than tubes of similar rods around this price point.

A particulary nice rod case is included with the rod.

A particularly nice rod case is included with the rod.

Even the tube cap is nice and classy.

Even the tube cap is nice and classy.

Upon taking the rod out of the nice case I found it had a toned down matt carbon finish, with neat whippings and fittings throughout. I prefer a finish like this, as there is less chance of spooking a fish through line flash. In my eyes it also looks better cosmetically. The black aluminum reel winch and carbon effect spacer in particular were impressive, and quality wise certainly on a parr with rods of a much higher specification.

A nice touch on the rod butt.

A nice touch on the rod butt.

The slim 4 section blank was fitted together with ease due to the aligner dots on each piece – and, unlike some other brands I have come across they actually aligned perfectly, rather than being dotted on at random in the rod factory by a person with defective eyesight!

Reel fittings were first class.

Reel fittings were first class.

Standard black anodised snakes and two unusal stripping rings mark this out from the other rods in this price bracket.

Standard black anodised snakes and two unusual stripping rings mark this out from the other rods in this price bracket.

The first preliminary wobble of the rod revealed it was quite stiff – oh no, not another poker I thought! However, the first cast alleviated the worry – the rod was indeed a fast action, but line loading was easy, and the blank loaded in a nice progressive way. I would use the term ‘medium fast’ to describe the action.

I tried a variety of casts – single haul, double haul, side and roll casting, and found the rod was lightweight, responsive and capable of serious distance casts without troubling it too much. Loops were crisp and easy to control, with no wobble or fuss from the blank at all.

Roll casting on the Fishtec casting pool

Roll casting on the Fishtec casting pool.

This model had a half wells handle that I found transmitted a nice feel through to the hand – often fly rod handles are way too thick and really hamper the feel of your casting, and therefore the enjoyment of your fishing. The quality of the cork was also excellent, with little if any filler evident.

The 9’6 #6 weighs in at just 3.45 oz, making it lighter than most competitor rods of the same spec – In fact for comparison purposes the whole range comes in at slightly lighter than the equivalent model of Greys GR70; these are properly light rods!

All in all it was a nice experience to use, with plenty of feel and a noticeable reserve of power, which I could tell would be very handy for bullying a big fish into the net, or punching a line out into a strong head wind.

Long line lift off was crisp and effortless due to the reserve of power.

Long line lift off was crisp and effortless due to the reserve of power in the butt.

I tried to find bad points with the rod, but really struggled to find anything to complain about to be honest! Aside from maybe the addition of a fighting butt on a rod of this length, I really couldn’t think of anything else they could have done to improve it.

So, to conclude I would have to say it’s a great effort by Wychwood, and deservedly worth the £185 price tag – I don’t think I would be dissapointed to own or use this rod long term myself, it certainly pushed all the buttons for me and does everything you ask of it extremely well.

The Wychwood RS range of fly fishing rods are available here.